In response to an interim final rule issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) this morning on the registration of drones for recreational use, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement:
"With the holiday shopping season in full swing, consumers' demand for innovative products like drones is high. Retailers fully support the FAA's effort to enhance public safety and educate consumers on flight safety practices" said Kathleen McGuigan, senior vice president of legal & regulatory affairs at RILA. "The FAA's new on-line registration process is an efficient and effective way to accomplish these goals while ensuring the security and privacy of registrants' personal information."
The interim final rule requires owners of drones between 250 grams and 55 pounds purchased after December 21, to register their drone prior to its first outdoor flight. Current owners of drones have until February 19, 2016 to register. Registrants must be at least 13 years old and registration will be good for 3 years. Registrants will be given a unique identification number to affix to drones prior to flight. The normal registration fee of $5 will be waived for the first 30 days, until January 20, 2016.
RILA submitted comments on the proposed rulemaking in November, questioning the FAA's statutory authority to require point-of-sale registration and urging the FAA to consider the significant logistical, customer service, and privacy challenges of a point-of-sale registration proposal. In addition, RILA encouraged the FAA to embark on a significant public outreach campaign to educate drone users on flight safety and inform consumers about the new registration requirements.
"We appreciate that the FAA embraced some of the recommendations provided by RILA and moved forward with an on-line registration process. In order to ensure that consumers are aware of the new registration requirements, it is critical that the FAA immediately begin a comprehensive consumer education campaign to publicize the new requirements. We look forward to continuing to work with the FAA to ensure that consumers are educated on FAA's new registration requirements and air safety rules," said McGuigan.
The FAA rule can be read here.
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.